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     82    

82 Pb Lead

Metal, mass: 207.2 u, 3 stable isotopes (206, 207, 208), abundance rank (earth/space): 35/43

Click image to magnify. Ultrapure lead bead from two sides. Original size in cm: 1.5 x 2
Lead bead Lead bead back side
Lead is known since ancient times and was widely used then. This often caused big sanitary problems, because its compounds are quite toxic. 208Pb is the last stable isotope in the periodic table and the end of the thorium decay chain. Therefore lead is quite abundant for an element with such a high number. Lead is a grey, very heavy and soft metal with a low melting point. Amongst others, it is used for weights and for radiation protection. Lead forms in air quickly a protecting oxide layer, which makes it dark.

Lead weight Lead pieces
Left: Small lead weight, 0.4 cm.
Right: two pieces of lead, 11 grams, 1 x 1.5 cm each.

Freshly cut lead Galena
Left: A piece of lead, cut through, is silvery for a short time, before the surface oxidizes. This was the left piece of the previous image, it was cut with a sharp knife, using a hammer.
Right: Galena, lead sulfide, PbS, also lead glance, is the most important lead ore and often contains significant amounts of silver. 4 x 4 cm, 150 grams.


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The images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, unless otherwise noted. Attribution by linking (outside of the internet credit with url) to the according element page.



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